Whilst there is lots to take into account when researching and booking a cruise holiday, there is always 3 key points to keep in mind; ship, destination and port.
If you get each of these 3 aspects of cruising correct, the chances are you will have an incredible time that you will never forget, get 1 wrong and it could be unforgettable for completely different reasons!
So if you at this page, you will be in the process of thinking about which port you would like to set sail from and whilst that may seem like a simple question with most people instantly thinking of the closest one been the answer, there is a lot more than the ports closeness to your home to take into account.
Local Port or Fly Cruise
If your local port or a cruise port that is within driving distance offers cruises to a destination you would like to offer on a cruise line you want to use and on a ship you want to go on, then a local port is probably the best starting point for you.
This is normally the best option for a first cruise or for those who have only been on a limited number of cruises as most ports only offer a limited number of ships, destinations and cruise lines and of course you will have to be lucky to get a port that offer the perfect option for all of those points.
Questions such as, does the port offer the type of cruise ship I want to holiday on and can the destination I want to visit be reached from the port? Will come to mind quickly but others such as how much and easy is the parking and does is the port actually in the destination I want to start from?
If you are new to travelling that last question may seem a strange one but just as in flying where you get ‘Ryanair’ airports, you also get cruise ports named after cities nowhere near the port.
As an Island nation, most of our ports are near to or in the towns and cities they take their name from but many overseas cruise lines will call anywhere from Southampton to Dover, London.
On the continent the port called Rome is actually Civitavecchia some couple of hours by road away from the capital of Italy whilst Berlin, is up to 3 hours from the coast with most cruise lines operating out of Warnemunde, near Rostock.
UK Cruise Ports
If you are setting sail from the UK and returning to the same port, more commonly known as a NoFly cruise, the ease of access to the port, price and availability of parking and of course the destinations offered are all the key aspects to take into consideration.
When it comes to setting sail from the United Kingdom, there is one cruise port that stands head and shoulders above the rest and that is the iconic Southampton cruise port.
Located on the south coast of England, the trip down to Hampshire can be a long one for many of us but it is also a journey that is well worth it as the choice from the port matches any cruise port around the world.
From a range of cruise terminals to a huge choice of cruise ships and from the choice of the majority of the world’s greatest cruise lines to a massive list of destinations- Southampton offers it all!
Do not forget that if you choose a No Fly cruise from a UK port you do not need to worry about excess baggage charges at the airport or have to worry about having to pack light.
If you are setting sail from a UK port but ending your journey abroad, the great news is that many leading ports are located close to international airports including Southampton, Liverpool, Greenock, and Leith.
If you are doing a fly cruise, they can be expensive mistakes to make with taxis costing E100’s or some may even miss the ship by not allowing enough time.
For a Fly Cruise, things like nearby airports, ease and cost of flights and if the port city is somewhere you would actually like to visit are all things to consider.
The good news is that if you do your research, starting off your cruise holiday from a foreign port can be a great way to start a holiday and can be relatively straightforward and stress free.
You will of course have to deal with the stresses and expenses of an airport but by enjoying a fly cruise you can open up the whole world and visit destinations that you simply could not visit by starting from a UK port- unless of course you are on a World Cruise!
By starting or ending your cruise in a great holiday destination you can also add a land based holiday onto your cruise and really get to take in the culture and vibe of your chosen destination.